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Pete Dowson

Help: BIOS settings wanted for better performance from a Z170 mobo system

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I'm a bit concerned. I have purchased (at relatively great expense) a new PC which I hoped would be the last upgrade I'd need for a while. It has a Z170 motherboard with a 6700K processor overclocked by 12.5% to 4.4GHz, matched with 2 x 8Gb Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 memory sticks.

 

It was supposedly setup and optimised for me by the PC builders who supplied it, but I am being led to believe it might be considerably under-performing. The measures used to judge with were 

 

1. The memory bandwidth, as measured by SiSoft Sandra's benchmark. I got 28 GB/s but have been told I should get about 45 Gb/s.

 

2. The memory latency, again according to Sandra benchmarking. I got 64nS, which I have been told is rather high.

 

Is there anyone here who can help me work out what EFI BIOS settings I should be setting in order to improve matters? THis modern PC technology has me baffled. Perhaps someone who gets better results can tell me their settings in the BIOS so I can compare? It would need to be a Z170 motherboard of course, but I think the memory doesn't need to be exactly the same, though it would help.

 

Thanks,

Pete

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I am just asking why even have the PC overclocked in the first place? I mean, I OC'd my PC to 4.6 once just to see what the fuss was all about (did it manually by the book), I mean the difference was negligble.

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I am just asking why even have the PC overclocked in the first place? I mean, I OC'd my PC to 4.6 once just to see what the fuss was all about (did it manually by the book), I mean the difference was negligble.

 

For FSX and P3D, CPU clock speed counts for a lot. A 12.5% improvement allows me to have denser scenery, more AI traffic, the lot. It's a 12.5% improvement in results. FS is virtually completely CPU bound.

 

The overclocking isn't the problem, and it's done by the mobo's own utility. The PC is perfectly reliable and no sign of overheating at that speed.

 

Pete

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It has a Z170 motherboard with a 6700K processor overclocked by 12.5% to 4.4GHz, matched with 2 x 8Gb Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 memory sticks.

It was supposedly setup and optimised for me by the PC builders who supplied it, but I am being led to believe it might be considerably under-performing.

 

Are you sure the memory XMP profile has been activated in BIOS

and the memory is really running at 3200?

 

gb.

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Are you sure the memory XMP profile has been activated in BIOS

and the memory is really running at 3200?

 

No, other than what is reported by by the BIOS optimising utility which came with the mtherboard, an Asus. I'll check again in the morning but I think that showed it set at just under 3200.

 

What's "XMP profile"?. It is labelled as such in the BIOS?

 

Pete

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What's "EMP profile"?. It is labelled as such in the BIOS?

 

XMP, eXtreme Memory Profile.

Yes it's there in the BIOS somewhere.

 

If I was buying from the experts I would be a little disappointed with 4.4GHz.

Couldn't they get it up to at least 4.7?

 

gb.

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Glad folks with 6700K are helping you out Pete ... 

 

gb, do you happen to have any Memory bandwidth and/or latency programs that will test out bandwidth since you are running same CPU and RAM frequency as Pete?

 

Digging up old picture of my "boot" EFI settings (final OC settings I set after I boot into OS) ... you're EFI will probably not look anything like mine, but here is a sample:

 

6930371c8e492d6f4b5edffd98a3e61f.jpg

 

I also agree that 4.4 Ghz seems a bit of weak OC for that CPU, I thought the 6700K was very OC friendly?

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Pete, you can probably get 4.7 OC without any overclocking expertise required. I currently favor MSI so don't have an ASUS BIOS to refer to but have run ASUS in the past. All BIOS are more or less the same when it comes to what can be set, just different user interface designs.

 

Take a careful note of current settings so you can revert back to them if needed. Then reset the BIOS to default settings. After doing that, just make these changes:

Check time and date are set correctly.

Check your boot HDD or SDD is set to the correct drive. Set to disabled any drive that cannot or will not be used for booting.

Enable any setting that says something like "Enable Windows 8/10 features"

Set XMP profile on for your RAM. There might be 2 profile choices. Select the first one and only try the second option (if available) if there is instability.

Set the auto overclock option for your chosen OC. This will usually bump up the multiplier and also the CPU frequency by a small amount. MB will auto set voltage etc. Don't even bother to fine tune or second guess voltage, at least for now.

Leave everything else at default. Save and exit.

 

Your 3200 RAM should report 1600 MHz in a app like CPU-Z. This is would be correct as you double this figure for the double data rate. Keep in mind also that timings on RAM are not the same depending on the speed. For example, a timing of 15-15-15-36 might be considered reasonable on 3200MHz DDR4 RAM but equivalent in terms of timing performance to 9-9-9-24 on older 1600MHz DDR3.

 

Once you are happy, then consider also making one more change to the BIOS - a setting that allows fast start up. Allows Windows to boot a little faster by not having the BIOS go thru all its (somewhat unnecessary) checks on every boot.

 

Use an app like HWMonitor to monitor CPU temps on you OC. Free and lots of useful info in a simple interface.

 

Have a look at www.tomshardware.com. Your hardware might well have been tested there and will give you a good indication of where you can expect performance to be.

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AIDA64 Extreme is excellent for checking memory latency and includes a 30 day trial.  The portable version makes cleanup easier: https://www.aida64.com/downloads

 

BTW... in their latency benchmark is listed a 6700K running at 4.0 GHz with (slow) 2133 DDR4, and latency for that system was 60.4 ns.  You should certainly be in the low 50's/high 40's at  least.

 

Good luck,

 

Greg

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1. The memory bandwidth, as measured by SiSoft Sandra's benchmark. I got 28 GB/s but have been told I should get about 45 Gb/s.

2. The memory latency, again according to Sandra benchmarking. I got 64nS, which I have been told is rather high.

 

Pete, for the Sandra Multi-threaded bandwidth test I got 38GB/s.

For the single threaded it went down to 30GB/s.

 

For the Sandra Global Data Memory In-Page Random Access Pattern (first in drop-down list)

latency was 18.8 ms.

For the second on the list (Full Random Access Pattern) latency was 67.0 ms.

 

So some big variations there depending on actual BM used.

 

Where did you get that 45GB/s band-width figure from?

 

gb.

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Where did you get that 45GB/s band-width figure from?

 

http://www.legitreviews.com/ddr4-memory-scaling-intel-z170-finding-the-best-ddr4-memory-kit-speed_170340/3

 

Pete has 3200Mhz C16 ... so according to that chart he should be around 45GB/s read and 47GB/s write and latency around 43.3ns.  Bandwidth and latency numbers are important in CPU bound situations like AI traffic.

 

 


For the second on the list (Full Random Access Pattern) latency was 67.0 ms.

 

I think you mean ns (nano-seconds) not ms (milli-seconds) ... RAM access measured in ms would be extremely slow.  Are you sure you're testing memory bandwidth and not something else?

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Pete, you can probably get 4.7 OC without any overclocking expertise required.

 

 

 

Most 6700K's achieve between 4.6 and 4.8 GHz. Dependant on cooling, ambient temp, silicone lottery etc.

 

In Sandra, for my GSkill Ripjaw V 3200 I'm seeing 18.6 ns. 

 

Bandwidth 38 GB/s

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XMP, eXtreme Memory Profile.

Yes it's there in the BIOS somewhere.

 

If I was buying from the experts I would be a little disappointed with 4.4GHz.

Couldn't they get it up to at least 4.7?

 

Found it. The menu for it was set to "Manual". I changed it to XMP, and the correct memory details appeared in the selection below., the one now labelled XMP.

 

With that it manages an increase in memory bandwidth from 28Gb/s to 29.4 Gb/s, and the latency decreases from 63.7nS to 60.4nS. Not really much different but an improvement -- I think the manual settings they did must have been fairly close.

 

And it manages 4.6 okay, and I might go back to that.. It has been at 4.7.but I had a couple of blue screens with those settings, so I toned it down. 4.5 is okay, and a lot faster than my previous PC (3yrs old) at 4.5.

 

Digging up old picture of my "boot" EFI settings (final OC settings I set after I boot into OS) ... you're EFI will probably not look anything like mine, but here is a sample:

 

Thanks for that pic, it helped me find XMP.

 

Pete, you can probably get 4.7 OC without any overclocking expertise required.

 

Enable any setting that says something like "Enable Windows 8/10 features"

 

Set XMP profile on for your RAM. There might be 2 profile choices. Select the first one and only try the second option (if available) if there is instability.

Set the auto overclock option for your chosen OC. This will usually bump up the multiplier and also the CPU frequency by a small amount. MB will auto set voltage etc. Don't even bother to fine tune or second guess voltage, at least for now.ete, you can probably get 4.7 OC without any overclocking expertise required.

Enable any setting that says something like "Enable Windows 8/10 features"

 

Set XMP profile on for your RAM. There might be 2 profile choices. Select the first one and only try the second option (if available) if there is instability.

Set the auto overclock option for your chosen OC. This will usually bump up the multiplier and also the CPU frequency by a small amount. MB will auto set voltage etc. Don't even bother to fine tune or second guess voltage, at least for now.

 

In fact it got to 4.7 using their Windows-based app, with does it for you. But I ran with 4.7 for a little while, but as I say above I got a couple of blue screen crashes so went down a notch. Actually two notches to be safe. No blue screens at all since then (2 weeks).

 

I think the Win8/10 setting could be a problem. It enables something called secure boot, I think, which prevents much of the software I need to run my cockpit from running. and I use Windows 7. This PC is the second build with the same hardware, but from a different company. The first only supports Windows 10 and installed that which killed my cockpit setup. I tried to change to Win7 on it but had problems which they were unable/unwilling to help with, so I got my money back and got it from a source who installs Win7 or Win10, your choice.

 

There was just the one XMP profile, but it reads correctly for my memory.

 

The Auto overclock utility bumps the multiplier -- it's at 45 at present on all 4 cores. I think it starts increasing the base clock too if you let it carry on, but then it soon reaches a point where it resets because it hangs or crashes the machine. It seems to adjust the voltage to suit too.

 

And, yes, CPU-Z shows 1600, with 16/18/18//36.

 

I'll check against TomsHardware reports, but the performance, in terms of things like frame rates, is fine, much better than my previous system. It's the stutters I get in Prepar3D which I'm trying to get rid of, and Rob sems to think this is due to memory bandwidth and latency. Still not sure how to solve that, having tried pretty much all combination of settings in P3D itself.

 

Thanks everyone. Still seem to need something ...

 

Pete

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AIDA64 Extreme is excellent for checking memory latency and includes a 30 day trial.  The portable version makes cleanup easier: https://www.aida64.com/downloads

 

Thanks. I'll try that. I do find Sandra quite difficult to make sense of at times.

 

 

Pete, for the Sandra Multi-threaded bandwidth test I got 38GB/s.

For the single threaded it went down to 30GB/s.

 

For the Sandra Global Data Memory In-Page Random Access Pattern (first in drop-down list)

latency was 18.8 ms.

For the second on the list (Full Random Access Pattern) latency was 67.0 ms.

 

Hmm. Maybe I'm reading Sandra wrong. I didn't even realise there were multiple choices in each category. I just selected the benchmark from the first screen then pressed to icon looking like two arrows in a circle to make it do it.

 

 

I think you mean ns (nano-seconds) not ms (milli-seconds) ... RAM access measured in ms would be extremely slow.  Are you sure you're testing memory bandwidth and not something else?.

 

Sorry -- typo here (n and m are next to each other!).  I did have "nS" in my emails.
 
I still get stutters in P3D with traffic off. Maybe not as bad or as often. But still there.
 
It looks like I need more info yet to improve things.
 
Regards
Pete

Most 6700K's achieve between 4.6 and 4.8 GHz. Dependant on cooling, ambient temp, silicone lottery etc.

 

Both suppliers I've now had 6700K systems from said that 4.7 is achievabl with a smallish sample of the chips they get in. 4.6 is easy, and I tried 4.7 but got some blue screens.

 

In Sandra, for my GSkill Ripjaw V 3200 I'm seeing 18.6 ns. 

Bandwidth 38 GB/s

 

 

If you are using n ASUS Z170 mobo, could you possibly share your BIOS settings? I don't know idf you can save then to a file, write them all down, or perhaps even take pictures. I realise there's a huge number of menus and submenus, selections and subselections. Currently I've no idea what might affect things though.

 

Regards

Pete

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Both suppliers I've now had 6700K systems from said that 4.7 is achievabl with a smallish sample of the chips they get in. 4.6 is easy, and I tried 4.7 but got some blue screens.

 

 

 

4.6 - 4.8 is the average range. Yields have been pretty consistent since Skylake was released. Some get higher, some unlucky individuals lower. 

 

As for my UEFI settings it's pretty simple. That's the best philosophy, keep it simple. There's no need to tweak obscure settings in the UEFI with Skylake. Not unless we're competitive overclockers, desperate for even a slight edge.

 

You have three options....

 

1. You said you have an Asus board. Do you know which one? It will have AiSuite 3. Within AiSuite 3 you will find Five Way Optimisation, unless it's a cheaper board. 5WO will do it all for you, including overclocking your RAM, so it's not necessary to enable the XMP profile. However, you can certainly try the XMP profile afterwards if you desire. My experiences of Five Way Optimisation are here...

 

http://www.avsim.com/topic/494147-asus-five-way-optimisation-impressions/

 

2. TPU 1 and TPU 2 switch on the motherboard. By flipping this switch to TPU 1 you will get 4.4 GHz. By flipping it to TPU 2 you will get 4.6 GHz. Be warned though, it's a one size fits all generic overclock with a voltage that Asus deem will work for most people. It's not 100% guaranteed to be stable for those that have chips requiring very high voltage. It will not run any stress tests. Voltage will be higher than many require.

 

3. For manual overclocking it's quite straightforward. Nothing fancy required.

 

Follow the easy Asus guide and you should easily achieve 4.6, perhaps higher. Stress test with ROG RealBench, that's all you need for 100% stability. My UEFI settings aren't really relevant, as there's not much in there that isn't default. What is in there that's not default is no different to the settings that are adjusted in the Asus guide below. Asus auto rules are actually very good these days. So the myriad of settings in the UEFI are mostly fine left on default. 

 

https://rog.asus.com/articles/guides/guide-overclocking-core-i7-6700k-on-the-maximus-viii-extreme/

 

I doubt you have this MB, but don't worry, the settings are the same. 

 

5WO will apply a tad more voltage than manual overclocking. 

 

Which ever method you use, manual overclocking or 5WO, make sure you reset to optimised defaults first. Stress test with RealBench and monitor temps with either CoreTemp or RealTemp.

 

I recommend manual overclocking following the Asus guide. It's very easy and good fun actually.

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1. You said you have an Asus board. Do you know which one? It will have AiSuite 3. Within AiSuite 3 you will find Five Way Optimisation, unless it's a cheaper board. 5WO will do it all for you, including overclocking your RAM, so it's not necessary to enable the XMP profile. However, you can certainly try the XMP profile afterwards if you desire. My experiences of Five Way Optimisation are here...

 

Ah, thanks for that. My mobo is the ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO, and, yes, I did install and use AiSuite 3. I let it get as far as it wanted -- eventually it fails and reverts. I think that was at 4.8. So it left it at 4.7. it was only later, when running FSX or P3D that I got blue screens occasionally, and reverted to 4.5. (I could have gone to 4.6, but I was playing safe -- anything to avoid blue screens!

 

I uninstalled AISuite because I couldn't find any other way of getting it's damned fax coontrol selection graphic off the screen -- even stopping its services loading didn't seem to help!

 

But it is easy enough to reinstall and let it try again.

 

2. TPU 1 and TPU 2 switch on the motherboard. By flipping this switch to TPU 1 you will get 4.4 GHz. By flipping it to TPU 2 you will get 4.6 GHz. Be warned though, it's a one size fits all generic overclock with a voltage that Asus deem will work for most people. It's not 100% guaranteed to be stable for those that have chips requiring very high voltage.

 

 

Hmm. That's interesting. I might try 4.6 that way before installing AIsuite again.

 

3. For manual overclocking it's quite straightforward. Nothing fancy required.

 

Follow the easy Asus guide and you should easily achieve 4.6, perhaps higher. Stress test with ROG RealBench, that's all you need for 100% stability. My UEFI settings aren't really relevant, as there's not much in there that isn't default. What is in there that's not default is no different to the settings that are adjusted in the Asus guide below. Asus auto rules are actually very good these days. So the myriad of settings in the UEFI are mostly fine left on default. 

 

Ah, good. That's a relief then. I might try that too -- first perhaps, after your last statement.

 

Thank you very much! That's a very helpful post! ;-)

 

To all posters:

 

After all the reports and responses above, for which thank you all very much, I have discovered a few more things.

 

I found that my Sisoft Sandra was woefully out of date, so I downloaded the latest version and reran the tests. The results are a bit better:
 
Memory Latency : 19.0ns
Bandwidth Single-threaded, Aggregate Memory Performance : 30.18GB/s
Bandwidth Multi-threaded, Aggregate Memory Performance : 38GB/s
 
I also ran AIDA64 on the recommendation in one of the posts above. That’s different again. It  seems to be giving 44.3GB/s for bandwidth (reading only, but better), but 48.1nS for latency.
 
Now I'm not sure which is okay or whether I've still got a memory bottleneck!
 
Pete

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When you have two clocks and they disagree, you need a third clock. :)

 

Cheers!

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Worth investigating, but I wouldn't be concerned about Sandra's results.

 

I would overclock as far as the silicone lottery and your cooling allows and enjoy the new PC.

 

These benchmarks can scare you into thinking you have a problem when you don't.

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If anyone finds a way of keeping Asus AI Suite running, WITHOUT that damn onscreen graphic that Pete referred to, please post it, as I find Asus Fan Xpert brilliant for TOTAL fan and water pump control. MUCH better than Corsair Link.

Nice PC build Pete - almost the same as mine;-)

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Surprised to see a guru like you Pete not making sense of computer stuff - but find it comforting too :) 

 

ASUS AI Suite used to be terrible - my computer is 5 years old so things might have improved - but I always OC directly from the BIOS. I like to know what's going on with my computer and take the time to learn what all the settings do. 

 

Corsair RAM has mixed reviews, so I wouldn't be surprised if it underperforms. I've been a happy Corsair user myself for years, but will try some more high end stuff in my next build. 

 

With new RAM modules you are advised to test the modules to make sure they function properly. 

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If anyone finds a way of keeping Asus AI Suite running, WITHOUT that damn onscreen graphic that Pete referred to, please post it, as I find Asus Fan Xpert brilliant for TOTAL fan and water pump control. MUCH better than Corsair Link.

Nice PC build Pete - almost the same as mine;-)

 

Are your results better than mine? If so, how did you do it, please?

 

 

Surprised to see a guru like you Pete not making sense of computer stuff - but find it comforting too :) 

 

ASUS AI Suite used to be terrible - my computer is 5 years old so things might have improved - but I always OC directly from the BIOS. I like to know what's going on with my computer and take the time to learn what all the settings do. 

 

Corsair RAM has mixed reviews, so I wouldn't be surprised if it underperforms. I've been a happy Corsair user myself for years, but will try some more high end stuff in my next build. 

 

With new RAM modules you are advised to test the modules to make sure they function properly. 

 

Ah, but I'm a programmer, not a hardware expert. I used to understand the hardware before it got so complicated and full of new terms I don't know.

 

ASUS AI Suite used to be terrible - my computer is 5 years old so things might have improved

 

Actually I just reinstalled it and re-ran it, but changing the strting settings a bit as another poster mentioned above. It went quite well, an it's given my what looks so far to be a stable 4.7GHz. I had to go back into the BIOS and reenable XMP mode again to get the memory speed correct, but apart from that I'm quite happy with it -- except for that non-removeable icon it sticks on the screen!

 

I reran the benchmarks and got further improved results. Still not sure whether that's it though, r whether I've still got something wrong.

 

With new RAM modules you are advised to test the modules to make sure they function properly. 

 

The supplier is supposed to do that! I think they did.

 

Regards

Pete

 

P.S New benchmark results (at 4.7GHz and 3200 MHz RAM):

 

Sandra

  memory benchmark multi-threaded:    37.8 GB/s

  memory benchmark single-threaded:  30.2 GB/s

  memory latency:                                  18.8 nS

 

AIDA64

  memory benchmark (read):                 44.4 GB/s

  latency                                                 47.7 nS

 

For latency they surely must be measuring different things?

 

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Hi Pete, there is a simple intel tool i use to check memory bandwith and latency, no installation needed https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/intelr-memory-latency-checker#download

 

For overclocking, i wouldn't use asus tools. OC was stable, but utility was setting Vcore to high - far more then needed, and well over the limits for my CPU. Maybe that changed in new versions, i didn't tried it for more then 4 years. I would go with this metod https://rog.asus.com/articles/guides/guide-overclocking-core-i7-6700k-on-the-maximus-viii-extreme/

 

Some useful info on CPU / troubleshooting:   http://www.overclock.net/t/1570313/skylake-overclocking-guide-with-statistics  (i would check general recommendations(for voltages and bios settings)here, no need for extreme stress testing, Real Bench is just enough).

 

Hope this helps

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The supplier is supposed to do that! I think they did.

 

Regards

Pete

 

I'd be surprised if they took the time. It takes a while... 

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I'd be surprised if they took the time. It takes a while... 

Agree. My supplier has done many things wrong, like GPU in wrong slot(lower performance). After i checked / reconnected everything, even my temps went 20c lower becouse of cable management and airflow  :smile:

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